Q&A with Scott Wilson, Author and Twitch Streamer

Cover of METL 2: The Last Wish, released April 28th

Cover of METL 2: The Last Wish, released April 28th

Elijah Perez, Opinion Editor

Scott Wilson is an American author and writer currently residing in Japan. Wilson writes and edits for SoraNews24, a Japanese entertainment new site, as well as hosting “ScottWritesStuff,” a Twitch stream dedicated to writing workshops. Wilson is also a published author, his first book METL: The ANGEL Weapon released in March 2019 with its sequel, METL 2: The Last Wish, having just released on April 28th.

Q: How did you first begin to find a love for writing and literature?

A: “Much the same way anyone finds true love in life: through Harry Potter fan fiction! I wrote two and a half Harry Potter fan fiction novels in middle school, which sparked my interest in writing and made me realize, ‘Hey, I can write a book.’ Sure, the stories were smoldering dumpster fires that only a middle schooler hooped up on sniffing Pokémon cards could ever hope to conjure, but they were a start.”

Q: Did a young Scott imagine being a published author?  

A: “Young Scott would probably be disappointed that adult Scott didn’t become something cooler like a video game designer or a chicken farmer. What? Didn’t you dream of programming robots to harvest chicken eggs when you were a kid?”

Q: You host a Twitch channel dedicated to writing, explain the purpose of the stream and how it came about. 

A: “When I lived in Boston, I ran and attended a writing workshop for three years. Then I moved to Japan where there is a sore lack of English-speaking writing groups. I missed the community of writers, but thankfully I remembered that the Internet was a thing, so I started doing writing workshops online via Twitch.”

Q: Besides your novel work, you also write for SoraNews24, how did you find yourself there?

A: “My wife was a fan of SoraNews24, a source of Japanese entertainment news, and she knew that I was looking for a new way to put my Japanese language ability to use besides tutoring. She told me they were hiring one day, so I sent them a resume and they hired me. Six years later, they still keep me around for some reason!”

Q: Speaking of SoraNews24, when and why did you and your wife make the move to Japan? 

A: “I majored in Japanese and Chinese in college, so I’ve been back and forth to Japan a lot. My wife especially loves it in Japan, and we moved back most recently so she could continue her dream job of teaching English in mid-2016, which looking at it with hindsight was an excellent move.”

Q: You know the language of Japanese, how did you become interested in the language?

A: “I actually started learning Japanese because I wanted to learn the language that was the most different from English. I was bored with French in school, so after a little research I found out that Japanese and Native American Mohawk were the two languages most different from English. The only reason I went with Japanese was because I thought the writing system looked cooler. It’s funny because for my first months of Japanese study, I knew nothing about anime or manga,but oh, I was a quick learner.”

Q: Previously you taught both English and Japanese, how did you get into that business and what made you leave it?

A: “I’ve always loved teaching and would’ve loved to work as a teacher full time, but honestly being a teacher in the U.S. is just too depressing. Long hours, low pay, abuse from parents — coming from a family of teachers of all grade levels and subjects, I knew that life wasn’t for me. So I did private tutoring for both Japanese and English, and I loved it. All the benefits of teaching without any of the misery. In fact I’d still be doing it if we hadn’t moved to Japan.”

Q: How did you first conceptualize the world of METL

A: “The idea for METL just hit me one day as an image. I saw a boy leaving an orphanage, carrying nothing with him except a photo of his father, while an artificial moon loomed up in the sky above him. I don’t know where that image came from, but it made me start asking questions: who is that boy? Who is his father? And what the heck is that extra moon in the sky?”

Q: How did the writing process of METL 2: The Last Wish compare to the first installment? 

A: “There were a ton of differences, but the biggest one was the editing. For the sequel, the feedback from my beta readers was devastating: they all said it was too confusing. I had to completely gut the plot and story and rewrite nearly 40% of it, with an encroaching deadline cackling not too far off. But I’m so glad I did that, and I’m super happy with how the final book turned out. It took a lot of walls filled with venn diagrams and screaming sessions into pillows, but it was worth it!”

Q: Do you have plans to continue the METL series?  

A: “I would love nothing more than to continue the series, but it’s not up to me, it’s up to the publisher. They seem to care about this thing called “money,” which I’m not too familiar with, but apparently can be accumulated through sales of the book. So if you like the book and want to see more, be sure to tell your friends and family!”

Q: Besides METL, do you have any other projects in the works or ideas?

A: “Yes! I have two books currently out on submission, one of which I co-wrote with my wife, and another that is a young adult dystopian book. Not so sure how appealing that one is with the current state of the world though. I’m also in the middle of writing an adult fantasy book, which is based on something I’ve never seen written about before. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more about them in the future!”

Q: You are involved in many writing endeavors from Twitch to SoraNews24 to the METL series, how do you keep up with being so busy? Have you always been the constantly working type person?

A: “It’s simple, my brain doesn’t allow me to stop. If I don’t do what it wants, then I will simply lay there in bed and be unable to go to sleep until I’ve caved into its wishes. Over the years I’ve given up fighting it; now I work all of its demands into my daily schedule. Maybe someday my brain will loosen its hold over me, but it feels like it’s only gotten tighter over the years. Somebody, send help.”

Q: Lastly, it is currently 2020, what can we expect from Scott Wilson in the next 5 or ten years?

A: “Hopefully more published books, either in the METL series or something new, and plenty of streams where we write ridiculous and/or grim-dark story prompts together. And maybe, if I’m lucky, I can finally open up that robot chicken-farm.”

METL: The ANGEL Weapon is available here

METL 2: The Last Wish is available here

The Scott Writes Stuff blog can be viewed here, including blog posts and links to the ScottWritesStuff stream and Wilson’s other published works.